Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pregnant nun, cross-dressing gangsta: Who are these people??

Seen any great musicals lately? I did, this past weekend: the Gridiron by the Society of Professional Journalists. The theme was “Doing Less with Less”—we all know what that means! It was hilarious and I’m still laughing!

Of course I have a soft spot for KITV’s Mahealani Richardson, who is in her eighth month of pregnancy. She was singing and dancing her little but off (and boy, that butt is growing—just kidding, Mahea!). She spent a lot of time in a nun’s habit—pretty hilarious, a pregnant nun, she kept blessing herself and rubbing her tummy!

pregnant mahea

Here’s a backstage photo of her with Justin Cruz, who was also really good. I never knew he could sing and sashay so well!

One of the highlights was Dan Cooke’s impersonation of Linda Lingle, always a crowd favorite! My favorite bit was when Dan did a rap called “Lindalicious,” a takeoff on a song from Fergie, while dressed up in risqué black bondage outfit. It was the combination of his makeup, his outfit, his rap (I was amazed at the natural gangsta that came out of him!) that proved just how well he can combine being a female impersonator and a gangsta rapper all in one. He had everybody rolling in the aisles.

dan cooke w backup

Here you’ll find him with some of his bootie-licious backup dancers including Esme Infante from—she sure wasn’t acting like a mom that night! You go, girl!

And there was a tribute to Corky Trinidad, the legendary political cartoonist who passed away this year. They showed a lot of his work from the Star-Bulletin, put to song, and it was really touching. You realized how truly talented he was.

Sorry I couldn’t take any photos—I would have forgotten anyway, I was having too much fun! I have to thank Gordon Pang for these backstage photos.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bravo, Spike!

c and spike

Those of you who attended Macy’s Come+Together event at the Ala Moana store last night know what I’m talking about. It was a huge success, not only for Macy’s but also for the Hawaii Foodbank, beneficiary of the event.

Spike Mendelsohn, cheftestant of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 4, was the main attraction, and what an attraction! In addition to the RSVPstyle fans who turned out, we had a good number of Top Chef fans who were dying to see for themselves if Season 4’s bad boy was seriously that over the top in real life!

c demo at macys

Well, Spike was picture-perfect. He was extremely nice, friendly and fun! After a meet-and-greet pupu hour, I opened the show with a quick lesson on how to put together four very different tablescapes worthy of Spike’s menu, all with items from Macy’s home department (you can see our Tablescape article series beginning next week at Mixing colors, styles and textures is not just for your rooms, it’s for your table as well (and even for fashion! Check out the $49 INC top I found at Macy’s just the day before).

c tossing food

Then I joined Spike in the kitchen, where I admittedly do not spend much time, and that’s when the fun began. The only way I know how to stir ingredients on a stovetop is with a spatula. But Spike told me to go ahead and try my hand at flipping his chutney in the pan. I warned the people in the front row that this could be dangerous! Sure enough, a quarter of Spike’s chutney flew out of the pan! Fortunately I didn’t burn anyone.

c eating spike's dish

Spike made a seared tuna to go on top of his Korean pear chutney, with a simple palate cleanser of Big Island hearts of palm and cilantro—yum! We all got to sample it—along with amazing pupus and desserts prepared by the awesome student chefs who helped out.

Then we opened it up to Q&As, which gave the audience a chance to ask questions about cooking, Top Chef and Spike’s brand new handmade burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery, in Washington D.C. The night ended with a chance for people to get an autographed Top Chef cookbook and a photo with Spike.

It was a fun night. Spike was a great guy. Even though he was the cheftestant you loved to hate, in person you could only love Spike. It was his first trip to Hawaii, but we look forward to having him come back soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

All about scale and proportion

I am not completely packed yet and we’re leaving in a few hours for our first trip to the Big Apple. I’m so excited!

Darrell, Nicki and I are headed to the New York City Wine & Food Festival. It’s going to be a short trip because Nicki’s going back to school on Monday. We’ve got tickets to the sold-out Burger Bash that Rachael Ray is hosting. I love Rachael Ray, I’m so excited! And we’re going to Godiva’s SWEET tasting, hosted by Duff Goldman.

We’ll see all of the sights—the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty—and we scored tickets to the show Wicked. And with all the things I’m doing with Macy’s, I’m looking forward to seeing their flagship store on 34th Street with the original wooden escalators.

So I was deleting pictures to clear space on my memory card, and I came across some from Sacred Hearts Academy’s 100-year gala last month. It’s a great visual tip to share with you all. When they asked me to design the stage, I thought, are you kidding? I’ve never done a stage before! But it’s for my alma mater, and Lee Webber of the Honolulu Advertiser was the honorary chair—how could I say no?


Anyone who’s been to our workshops knows it’s about layering colors and textures and considering scale and proportion. For a 24 x 18 foot stage at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, I was going to need a lot of scale and proportion.

planter cu

I designed these tall gold planters with cascading yellow popcorn orchids and asparagus and other ferns to give them height and width proportional to the size of the stage and ballroom. With a Batman-like light shining on the backdrop drapes, we could create any color backdrop.

stage purple

When people first walked in, the backdrop was amber. Throughout the evening it changed: With Cathy Foy entertaining, you saw lavender, and with Jason Segundo it was royal blue.

stage blue

Boy, the RSVPstyle fundamentals sure do come in handy! It was a great event for a great cause.

Anyway, I know you’ve probably forgotten about Top Design, but I hope you’ll forgive me for this delay. I have to say I agree with the judges—they picked the right winner, who as you know by now is Antonio.

Poor Dan! Overall, he is the better designer. He knocked the final challenge, designing an entire home for a family, out of the park. I thought his house was completely pulled together. What won the contest for Antonio was his hosting ability—after all, they were looking for the next Design Star, not designer. But Dan has a huge future, and Antonio’s going to be fun to watch.

Gotta get back to my packing. I’m looking forward to a great first trip to New York City, but I’ll check back with you real soon … promise!